Transition Planning and the IEP

Element One: Conduct Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment (AATA)

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Early steps in transition planning involve the initial identification and assessment of a student’s interests, needs, preferences and strengths by collecting age-appropriate transition assessment (AATA) data. This information can include multiple types data that is collected by a variety of methods, both formal and informal. Tools such as parent and student surveys, career interest inventories, observations in multiple environments, and functional vocational assessments are examples of a few of these methods. Teams should begin with current information and data that sheds light on the student’s preferences, interests, skills and needs and how these impact his or her future. Additional transition assessment data is then collected to assist in comprehensive transition planning. The student should help direct this process by communicating his/her vision of the future to the IEP team. This vision becomes the focal point for transition planning, including age appropriate transition assessment. (Review the Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment Guide in the OCALI Transition to Adulthood Guideline Series for detailed information.)

AATA “Paints a Picture”

Information obtained from Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments should include description of:

  • accommodations needed for the student to participate in the general education curriculum
  • student’s academic skills, strengths, and needs
  • current and needed functional skills
  • supports necessary to access current and future environments

Results of AATA

Assessment data should also describe:

  • the connection between current skills, course of study and future plans
  • career needs
  • interests
  • preferences
  • strengths

Essentially, the information obtained from Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment should be summarized to describe the student’s preferences, interests, and skills as a foundation for developing adult life (postsecondary) goals connected to the student’s future vision. In addition, Age Appropriate Transition Assessment identifies what the student will need to learn in high school and how he/she may best learn those skills in order to prepare for the meaningful adult life described in the future goals and vision.

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